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F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Jets Just Flew A Mission Off The Southern California Coast


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I know a guy that rode the goblin and was involved since the very early days of the program.  He basically went dark for about a decade or so.

He was a very social fighter jock, then just slipped into the ether.  He came out the other side pretty antisocial and weird.  He spent many more years driving airplanes for $, but on the surface, you'd barely think the guy could tie his shoes.

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I’ve heard tell that the -117’s saw some use in the desert in the last couple of years because the -117 still does some things not many aircraft can do.

 

Kinda like why the raptor very suddenly got the capability to drop bombs.....

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2 minutes ago, AK_Stick said:

I’ve heard tell that the -117’s saw some use in the desert in the last couple of years because the -117 still does some things not many aircraft can do.

 

Kinda like why the raptor very suddenly got the capability to drop bombs.....

As far as I'm concerned, this program got scrapped about 2 decades too soon. There's still a lot of relevance in that bird..

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3 hours ago, tadbart said:

As far as I'm concerned, this program got scrapped about 2 decades too soon. There's still a lot of relevance in that bird..

The problem is a couple fold. 
 

1. After the first one got shot down (largely due to AF negligence but still) the word got out on how to track them. It’s not fool proof, and it’s not something that can’t be combatted but they’re not as stealth as we’d hoped. 
 

2. They are incredibly expensive to maintain and operate due to their construction. 
 

3. There’s virtually no spare parts aside from the aircraft that were cannibalized for parts to keep the limited numbers serviceable. 
 

4. They don’t really bring anything to the table that justifies their expense when compared to other designs. 

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22 minutes ago, AK_Stick said:

The problem is a couple fold. 
 

1. After the first one got shot down (largely due to AF negligence but still) the word got out on how to track them. It’s not fool proof, and it’s not something that can’t be combatted but they’re not as stealth as we’d hoped. 
 

2. They are incredibly expensive to maintain and operate due to their construction. 
 

3. There’s virtually no spare parts aside from the aircraft that were cannibalized for parts to keep the limited numbers serviceable. 
 

4. They don’t really bring anything to the table that justifies their expense when compared to other designs. 

 

5. F-22 is better is every way. ?

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3 hours ago, AK_Stick said:

I’d hope so. 
 

It’s much newer, and much more expensive. 

Speaking of programs that got shut down too soon...

The 35 is a pork plane.

Pair up a 22 with a 15 or two, and let the Super Hornets and Growlers work their magic together, and you've got air superiority over land and sea for the next 25 years.

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5 hours ago, AK_Stick said:

The problem is a couple fold. 
 

1. After the first one got shot down (largely due to AF negligence but still) the word got out on how to track them. It’s not fool proof, and it’s not something that can’t be combatted but they’re not as stealth as we’d hoped. 
 

2. They are incredibly expensive to maintain and operate due to their construction. 
 

3. There’s virtually no spare parts aside from the aircraft that were cannibalized for parts to keep the limited numbers serviceable. 
 

4. They don’t really bring anything to the table that justifies their expense when compared to other designs. 

To get all mathematical - the F117 has a lot of flat surfaces that reflect radar away from it, but in the general same direction.  But the direction is fairly predictable.  The impression I got is that it works if you fly it correctly.  Get to close to a radar station and you've had it regardless.  It was kind of a test bed to see if they could pull off this stealth stuff.  Of course, that leaves the radar-absorbing material as well.

F22 scatters the signature better because of the rounded surfaces.  While some of it still has to be flat in some areas (wings), it's vastly improved.  Apparently the equations needed to solve for this and make it reflect radar the way they wanted (ie no more than a certain amount in a certain direction) are so damn complex (when used on an aircraft) that the concept had to be shelved until computing power caught up.

9 hours ago, tadbart said:

As far as I'm concerned, this program got scrapped about 2 decades too soon. There's still a lot of relevance in that bird..

She's obsolete.  But don't forget we had that thing for a long time before anyone knew about it.  Who knows what else is in the barn......

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6 hours ago, tadbart said:

Speaking of programs that got shut down too soon...

The 35 is a pork plane.

Pair up a 22 with a 15 or two, and let the Super Hornets and Growlers work their magic together, and you've got air superiority over land and sea for the next 25 years.

 

I am no expert but I don't see what the 35 brings to the party. 

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7 hours ago, tadbart said:

Speaking of programs that got shut down too soon...

The 35 is a pork plane.

Pair up a 22 with a 15 or two, and let the Super Hornets and Growlers work their magic together, and you've got air superiority over land and sea for the next 25 years.

The -35 is currently kicking the -15’s, -16’s and -18’s ass all over the map. 

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1 minute ago, AK_Stick said:

The -35 is currently kicking the -15’s, -16’s and -18’s ass all over the map. 

Let a 22 hang out with the geezers and share electronics. Those 15s will be launching air-to-air at the 35 from over the horizon.

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8 hours ago, tadbart said:

Speaking of programs that got shut down too soon...

The 35 is a pork plane.

Pair up a 22 with a 15 or two, and let the Super Hornets and Growlers work their magic together, and you've got air superiority over land and sea for the next 25 years.

The "pair up" is an actual idea.  F22 serves as the interceptor, F15 as the "missile truck".  Basically the F22 targets the BG and the F15 uses the data to launch a missile at them from a safe distance.  Pretty clever.

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1 hour ago, tadbart said:

Let a 22 hang out with the geezers and share electronics. Those 15s will be launching air-to-air at the 35 from over the horizon.

Well, there’s a couple problems.
For one,  the F-35 has a better radar, and will likely see the -15’s long before the 22 can see the -35.
 

Secondly, the F-22 cannot broadcast its battle link to other aircraft.  It can receive from a Link-16 broadcaster such as the F-15, but the -16 link is not stealth, and a -35 could likely detect the  transmission if they were at combat range  


However, the F-35 has a stealth battle link, that can share data between the flight.

 

So a battle between a F-22, and say 3 F-15’s vs 4 F-35’s would likely end up Between one -22 and 4 -35’s. 

 

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19 minutes ago, SC Tiger said:

The "pair up" is an actual idea.  F22 serves as the interceptor, F15 as the "missile truck".  Basically the F22 targets the BG and the F15 uses the data to launch a missile at them from a safe distance.  Pretty clever.

The F-22 is currently receive only on its -16 datalink. 

Though there is a work around in progress I don’t know if it will be retrofitted to the legacy fighters or if it will be between the -22 and -35. 

Edited by AK_Stick
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6 minutes ago, AK_Stick said:

The F-22 is currently receive only on its -16 datalink. 

Though there is a work around in progress I don’t know if it will be retrofitted to the legacy fighters or if it will be between the -22 and -35. 

This is what I based my comment on:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a30705691/f-15ex/

Doesn't mention the working with the F22 but here's a second article:

https://www.airforcemag.com/air-force-starts-f-15ex-buying-process/

I may have characterized it incorrectly.  Not sure how the datalink will work or if it is something else.

Concept was initially mentioned using two sets of F22s - one with the radar at the edge of enemy airspace or fighter engagement envelope, which then transmits data to a fighter much closer.  That fighter set then engages from close range.  

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5 minutes ago, SC Tiger said:

This is what I based my comment on:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a30705691/f-15ex/

Doesn't mention the working with the F22 but here's a second article:

https://www.airforcemag.com/air-force-starts-f-15ex-buying-process/

I may have characterized it incorrectly.  Not sure how the datalink will work or if it is something else.

Concept was initially mentioned using two sets of F22s - one with the radar at the edge of enemy airspace or fighter engagement envelope, which then transmits data to a fighter much closer.  That fighter set then engages from close range.  

Yes, the idea has been forwarded, but isn’t currently in the field atleast as a platform wide capability. It would not surprise me to find out there is atleast one -22 being tested with that capability. 

The F-22 only has the ability to receive on the legacy -16 battle link, because broadcasting would reveal its location.

The F-35 can broadcast on the legacy -16, or utilize its new “stealth data link” if talking to a 5th gen stealth capable counterpart.

 

Last I knew, there is a new tie in being explored to give the -22 the ability to receive the stealth link from the -35, but I don’t know if that’s gone field wide, or if they added the ability for the -22 to push data.

 


But against a -35, talking on the legacy -16 link would make you a target, so even if the -22 could be the eyes for a -15, doing so would actually put him at a disadvantage against a -35. 

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